Pound for Pound 2015

Photo by Al Applerose

Pound for Pound Rankings December 2015

By David A. Avila

A massive changing of the guard took place this year in pro boxing. Gone is Floyd Mayweather and gone is Wladimir Klitschko who lost his heavyweight title over the weekend. They had been mainstays for over a decade.

Here’s a new list of the best fighters in the world pound for pound:

1.) Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez – The Nicaraguan might mite recently appeared in Las Vegas to express thanks for the recognition he’s been given. I wasn’t quite ready to anoint him the best until meeting Brian Viloria. Well, he met him on Oct. 17 in Madison Square Garden and dissected him like a surgeon. It was a thorough victory over a very tough customer. Chocolatito definitely deserves the honor or being number one on the list. Though he weighs only 112 pounds his a complete fighting machine. You have to see him to believe him. Tremendous fighter.

2.) Gennady “GGG” Golovkin – The humble middleweight titlist known as “Triple G” could be the best of the best. Just let him prove it. That’s all he asks. He’s ready to challenge Mexico’s Saul Alvarez for the WBC title but we’ll see if it happens. A fight between them would be an epic affair. Meanwhile, the hard-hitting middleweight continues to show he's anxious and ready for all comers. Recently, he re-iterated his wish to grab all of the middleweight titles.

3.) Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – The former super middleweight champion from Oakland should be at the top of the list. But he spent time avoiding fights so that he could jump a contract. Not really good for a fighter to lose his prime years. He returned recently and showed a lot of rust. He’s now officially a light heavyweight. He is already negotiated a fight to meet Sergey Kovalev in late 2016. That will be a stern test for Ward.

4.)Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao – Recently Pacquiao announced retirement will take place after one more fight. The Filipino superstar will be leaving a tremendous void in the boxing world. Meanwhile, he is looking to see who he will fight for his final bout. Could it be Amir Khan, Tim Bradley or Floyd Mayweather?

5.) Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (28-0-1) – The Russian light heavyweight anxiously awaits a match with Andre Ward. A deal has already been negotiated. First, the Russian must defeat Jean Pascal on Jan. 30 in Montreal, Canada. After that, should Kovalev prove successful, the best light heavyweight match in years will take place in 2016. Oh, he recently agreed to fight Adonis Stevenson if their respective TV contracts can be somehow settled.

6.) Saul “Canelo” Alvarez – The Mexican redhead’s win over Miguel Cotto settled one question but raised another: can he beat Gennady Golovkin. If it takes place next year that will be the fight that everyone watches. Alvarez looked much stronger than Cotto and had no problem with the Puerto Rican's power. But can his chin withstand a full out assault by Triple G? Good question. Canelo has many options.

7.) Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley – You can never count out Bradley. The Palm Springs welterweight handily defeated Brandon Rios and set himself up for a few more hefty paydays. Bradley definitely has the speed advantage against all the other welterweights. Rumors have surfaced that he may move up in weight and face Canelo Alvarez.

8.) Kell Brook (35-0) – The welterweight from Sheffield, England still remains unknown in this country. Despite holding the IBF title, he’s yet to be matched against any of the big name opponents in the division. It’s a common problem with fighters from his promoter Premier Boxing Champions. The British fighter could be matched against a number of PBC opponents but will that company pull the trigger?

9.) Keith Thurman – Few have the athletic talent of Florida’s Thurman. He could be boxing’s best fighter pound for pound but his promoter doesn’t seem to have faith in his abilities. Will PBC finally unleash Thurman on the welterweight division? Thurman is the only fighter on PBC's register that interest real fight fans.

10.) Terence Crawford – The junior welterweight from Omaha, Nebraska has all of the tools necessary to climb up the ranks. Crawford has shown that the Mid-West has plenty of boxing talent. Crawford has talent. Because he fights under Top Rank he has many options. Look out for this fighter.

11.) Miguel Cotto – It’s been less than two weeks since Cotto lost the WBC middleweight title to Canelo Alvarez. But the Puerto Rican prizefighter showed he still has plenty of fight remaining. Perhaps a rematch with Alvarez is next.

12.) Mikey Garcia – Almost two years have passed since Moreno Valley’s Garcia last stepped in the ring on January 2014. Garcia, 27, has a contract dispute with his promoter and is looking to end it. The former featherweight and super featherweight world champion is one of the most intelligent boxers today. He needs to get back into the boxng ring before losing his prime. You can never get your prime years back.